The Turning Point

I'm going to shift things a bit from now on. I'll continue to reflect on culture and politics, but do so explicitly through the lens of this turning point in the UK's relationship with its neighbours, not least as I've picked this difficult time to divide my life between England and France. The full blog... Continue Reading →

History and the Conservative mind

I've never been a Conservative, even before the British Conservative Party reached its current grotesque form. I say "even before", because the Conservatism that prevailed through much of the 20th century was less obviously grotesque. Until Margaret Thatcher came along Conservatism had settled into a kind of pragmatism essentially laid down by Disraeli (for the... Continue Reading →

Corporate communication: three cardinal sins

Here are three common but cardinal sins in business communication: Vacuous cliché Corporate boasting Talking about yourself (when you’re supposed to be focused on other people). I’m going to use a piece of coronavirus-related communication to show that I’m not making this up. A couple of days ago, reporting the collaboration between two big Pharma... Continue Reading →

Rent v innovation pt 2

Having complained about software companies' arbitrary and self-serving redefinition of what it is to buy a product, I wanted to reflect on the alternatives. I work from home as a freelance writer, so I have more choice about the software I use than the average corporate bod. I also have to pay for it for... Continue Reading →

Rent v innovation: software leads the charge

Software companies' behaviour over licensing epitomises the problematic emergence of extractive capitalism, with trust becoming a growing problem for business. In the early days of the current phase of personal computing, there was some legal clarity about what kind of "thing" software was: it was like a book. You could buy a copy, and use... Continue Reading →

What next with Brexit #437

In the light of recent developments it seems worth making a few non-partisan points about the state we’re in. I say non-partisan. I’m unashamedly against Brexit, but this piece isn’t an argument for or against. Rather it’s an attempt to make sense of a changed reality. We now have an ironic situation where a vote... Continue Reading →

Diversity, identity and brand

The disciplines demanded by a diversity programme make a better starting point for behavioural or cultural change than top-down brand communication Brand thinking has mostly emphasised uniformity as a guiding principle for staff behaviour, organised around a set of declared brand values. The aim is to ensure that brand-supportive behaviour is embedded deep in the... Continue Reading →

When’s that Brexit train a-comin’?

Making political predictions in the current environment seems foolhardy, not least because much could change come the party conference season in the early autumn: Theresa May could be replaced, and Labour could be forced to back Remain. I wouldn't bet on either but in any case here I'm going to try to unpick reality from... Continue Reading →

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